Friday, April 19, 2013

Using iDoneThis to Figure Out What the Heck I Did Today

I struggle with remembering everything I accomplished during my work day. I think iDoneThis will help.
"What did you get done last week?"

If answering that question would be a struggle, iDoneThis might be able to help.

My Problem with Logging Tasks


I've been using Google Tasks + Google Calendar to document my plans and accomplishments for the day. But, inevitably, I leave something out. I may, for example, spend several hours running unplanned reports and forget to add it as a completed task, or I get bogged down in email correspondence (which I never add to my calendar) and wonder where my day went.

And when it comes to preparing my timesheet, I sometimes struggle to see exactly how my week went.

Where iDoneThis Comes In 


After reading about it somewhere (Lifehacker? Twitter? Eh, I forget.) and only finding team account pricing, I suggested that iDoneThis should have a free personal account. Turns out, they already do. Yay!

While the name makes me cringe a little, the functionality is rather cool. Simply put, it lets you easily track what you accomplished each day by either 1) adding it to an online calendar, 2) replying to a daily email with a list of tasks or 3) adding things as they happen via email or the web interface.



It works for teams or individuals. I'm using it just for me.

There are some additional handy features, such as:



So far, I haven't missed a day; today will be my fifth day of use. I like the tickler that helps me remember what I got done.


I'm excited about the potential of displaying my iDoneThis daily reports on my Google Calendar (shown in purple in the screen capture below). I've contacted their help desk to suggest some improvements, but it's a great start.



Time will tell if iDoneThis becomes part of my long-term productivity plans. But, I definitely feel like it fills a gap in my process and I plan to continue using it.

Side note: iDoneThis hasn't asked me write this post, or compensated me in any way. I'm just a happy user wanting to share my experience.


Jenna Weiner is a rather geeky girl with average social skills and an affinity for: Google Apps, Salesforce.com, Pinterest, Firefly, dresses, indoor plants and life-hacking. Have a suggestion for a post or a question? Feel free to get in touch.
Email: rathergeeky@gmail.com
Twitter: @RatherGeeky
LinkedIn: View My Profile

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

How I Use TextExpander to Link to a FogBugz Case in Gmail with 0 Clicks

Here's an easy way to use TextExpander to insert a link to a FogBugz case... with 0 clicks.

You heard me. 0. Nada. None.

Why?


I was tired of copying a FogBugz case url manually and pasting it as a link when emailing coworkers. So, I came up with a shortcut.

I knew that case links were formatted consistently like this: https://ourdomain.fogbugz.com/default.asp?casenumber

Here's how: 


I created a snippet in TextExpander to pass all of the url except the case number and prompt me for it. I gave it a shortcut of 'casel' for 'case link'.


In Gmail, I know that the shortcut to insert a link is CMD (Mac) CTRL (Windows) + k.

So, when I've highlighted text to link, here are my keystrokes.
  1. [CMD] + [k]
  2. casel
  3. case #, eg: 3158
  4. [enter]
  5. [enter]
  6. Done!

No clicks! Just typing and a few [enter]s. After a few times, I swear that my muscle memory kicks in and this process takes just about a second. Woo hoo!

Notes

  • If I wanted to speed this up even more, I could change my shortcut for this snippet to something even shorter than 'casel'. 
  • I also avoid clicks by highlighting text with my keyboard (for Mac, [shift] + [option] + arrow keys to highlight words).
  • You can use any text expansion software that prompts you with a prompt/fill-in field to accomplish this.

Jenna Weiner is a rather geeky girl with average social skills and an affinity for: Google Apps, Salesforce.com, Pinterest, Firefly, dresses, indoor plants and life-hacking. Have a suggestion for a post or a question? Feel free to get in touch.
Email: rathergeeky@gmail.com
Twitter: @RatherGeeky
LinkedIn: View My Profile

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Getting Over Google Reader

Have you heard the news about Google Reader? (In case you hadn't, here's the low down.) The official date to say goodbye is July 1, 2013.

I'm sad to see a tool with such potential shut down, especially considering my affection for most Google products.

Did you know? You can use Google Takeout to download your Google Reader data.
I've been trying to reorganize the blogs that I follow recently, as I tried stepping back from Facebook as my preferred method for updates. So, I went through and relabeled, reorganized, unsubscribed and resubscribed. That's when I heard about the announcement.

I'm looking at this as an opportunity to start fresh... again.

I've taken a look at a few alternatives, like Feedly, Bloglines, Google Currents, Good Noows and Taptu.

I haven't found anything that I like as much as Google Reader. But, I think Feedly is my favorite option so far.

Have you settled on one yet? Let me know in the comments.


Jenna Weiner is a rather geeky girl with average social skills and an affinity for: Google Apps, Salesforce.com, Pinterest, Firefly, dresses, indoor plants and life-hacking. Have a suggestion for a post or a question? Feel free to get in touch.
Email: rathergeeky@gmail.com
Twitter: @RatherGeeky
LinkedIn: View My Profile
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